Review of La Guitarra Callada by Stefano Grondona, Stradivarius, 2017
I’ve been writing about guitars for ten years now and I’ve become accustomed to being spoiled by the fact that at this time of year, usually after the Venice Music Biennial, comes the new record of Mastro Stefano Grondona. By now, I admit, I got used to it.
Because the Maestro, basically, cuddles us.
The question that I am now accustomed to mating is not how the Master will play (trivial answer: he always plays very good) but what he will play. When you have a career and a discography like that of Mastro Grondona, the choice of music that will be part of his new record project is never a simple or fickle thing.
This year, the guitar of the Mastro chose to perform the integral of the works of guitar by Federico Mompou and four sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti. The focus is mainly on, as Maestro explains in the booklet accompanying the cd, versus the Suite Compostelana, which has a clear segovian ancestry. Grondona performs it, with his usual mastery, with a greater consideration of the figure of Mompou as a composer also for his piano works. I think I can read the interpretation of Grondona as a true spiritual path, a musical path that evokes the metaphor of the mystic path to Santiago de Compostela.
“La Guitarra Callada” is a remarkable record and with subtle and deep shades, I suggest listening to it reading the booklet (24 pages) accompanying the cd where, in the Stradivarius style, you can immerse yourself in the essay written by Grondona about the Mompou’s music. My compliments to the sound engineer Davide Piva and to the mastering work of Andrea Dandolo, as always good at picking and highlighting the Maestro’s wonderful sound of his guitar.